Readers: On Oct. 22, 2012, the eyes of the world were on a little half-century-old college tucked into a corner of Boca Raton that had operated under no fewer than three names.
The presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was a moment in the national spotlight for Lynn University. Sadly, it wasn’t even the first in recent years. Four students and two faculty members were killed in Haiti’s Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.
But this month, the school celebrates 25 years as Lynn.
Here’s more from our archives:
The school opened in 1962 as a two-year women’s school named Marymount College, operated by nuns from the Religious Order of the Sacred Heart of Mary.
It later went bankrupt and prepared to close. Students planned car washes and other events and even went door to door with soup cans and signs reading, “Save Our College.”
In 1971, Marymount got a visit from educator Donald Ross, who intended to buy the soon-to-be-defunct school’s library for his own program at Wilmington College in Delaware, a school he’d founded in 1967.
“I walked all over campus and could not believe how beautiful it was,” Ross told Lynn’s magazine in 2006.
Instead of buying up Marymount’s books, Ross persuaded Wilmington trustees to merge with Marymount and make it a coed college. By 1972, enrollment was up to 350.
In 1974 the school’s name was changed to the College of Boca Raton, but it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that it would begin offering four-year degrees.
In September 1991, now with about 1,000 students, it would get its third name when it was renamed for philanthropist Eugene Lynn.
Lynn had become president of the Boca Raton-based Lynn Insurance Group in 1956. Over three decades, he and his wife, Christine, donated $3.5 million for a student dorm and put up the money for the Lynn Student Center, built in 1963. Eugene Lynn died in 1999.
Donald Ross would run the school until 2006, when son Kevin took over.
As of fall 2015, Lynn had some 3,000 students from more than 100 countries. . Its five colleges offer nearly 50 majors and the Institute for Achievement and Learning works with students with learning challenges.
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